Google opens YouTube ad inventory up to Media Ratings Council audit

Google has agreed to open up its YouTube ad inventory and ad buying platforms to verification by the United States’ marketing watchdog, the Media Ratings Council, in a bid to restore trust among advertisers.

The move will allow the MRC to audit the way in which independent verification companies Moat, Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify, collect viewability data on Google’s video sharing platform.

The MRC will examine whether an ad was viewed, how long it was viewed for and how many views came from ‘General Invalid Traffic’ such as robots. As a result, Google will become fully accredited for video ad impressions and viewability for media bought on desktop web, mobile web and mobile app via its DoubleClick Bid Manager.

A number of calls for greater transparency within the digital advertising arena have circulated during the last 12 months, culminating with Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard calling the industry “murky at best, fraudulent at worst”.  

Earlier this month, Facebook also announced plans to open up some of its advertising to MRC auditors in the wake of the platform’s admission that some of its video measurement metrics were erroneous.

Google Analytics Solutions and Measurement senior director of product management Babak Pahlavan said the move was to ensure the YouTube’s metrics were “objective and accurate”. Announcing the plans in a blog post, he said: “These MRC audits will span across all video available through these buying platforms — including YouTube and partner inventory.”



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